Reputation: After seeing the girls dancing in the forest, Parris recognizes the possibility that the witchcraft being practiced has originated in his own household, and he worries about the possible danger to his reputation if the townsfolk learn that his daughter and niece could be consorting with the devil.
Spent 3 years to build his image; Abigail’s and Betty’s actions could ruin all that.
The townspeople may already have heard rumors that Abigail is not a proper girl, if Elizabeth Proctor has been talking about her in the town.
However, she assures her reputation is pure and good. She is seen as a sweet, innocent, young girl. There is no tarnish/embarrassment to her.
Parris is telling the Putnams not to assume witchcraft. It could ruin his reputation. This is ironic because he would easily convict any other person in the town.
Mr. and Mrs. Putnam are convinced there is a supernatural explanation for all their dead babies. Though there could be a hundred other explanations for their only surviving daughter Ruth Putnam’s behavior (including her relationship with Abigail), they find it more comforting to explain it as proof of witchcraft. If evil took their babies, then there is nothing they can do but seek God’s help — a more comforting thought than that it might be their own fault or nobody’s. At least this gives them somebody or something to fight against.
Lies and deceit: We learn the true motives behind Abigail’s actions, even as she tries to get the girls to agree on a story to protect herself. She uses the threat of violence, and their belief that she might know some real witchcraft, to keep them in line.
Lies and deceit: We learn that both Abigail and John have told lies: they have deceived people about their (past) relationship, and they continue to lie about it. But to this person who knows her deception, Abigail tells the truth that she was dancing in the woods and Betty took fright. However, she doesn’t tell him that she drank a potion so that his wife Elizabeth might die.
Proctor is trying to forget what happened and pretend it didn’t. He wants Abigail to move on also, and put it out of mind.
Abigail is talking trash about Elizabeth, calling her a cold, sniveling, lying, controlling woman. Proctor’s loyalty/guilt emerges as he defends his wife.
Consulting about Betty and regarding Ruth, Rebecca doesn’t believe witchery is afoot, simply the ambitions of children.
Is there really a devil/witch? Foreshadows the big conflict, what accusations and suspicions will lead to. Rebecca Nurse suggests that they look inside themselves for answers to their problems, rather than blaming supernatural forces, but the Putnams are bent on finding justice and they see the supernatural as perhaps the only source of those answers. Nonetheless, it is likely that Mrs. Putnam’s motives are more pure than those of her husbands, who seems mostly interested in acquiring land.
Reputation: Parris is greedy and self-centered. He thinks everyone is against his every word; arguing against him all the time. On his high horse, he believes he deserves more, given his social standings and “intellectual superiority.”
Asks what’s the motive for the vengeance; there is no unity, everyone turning their backs on one another. Putnam is interested in gaining land.
Reputation is important, travels a long way. Upon arrival, Hale notes the good things he’s heard about Rebecca’s good deeds in Beverly. Rebecca is a respectable woman of society.
Those in Salem all know the basic tenets of Christianity and much about the Devil’s ways. Hale capitalizes on what they already know, but also instructs.
This is an example of hypocrisy. Hale states two contradicting ideas in adjacent sentences. He states that superstition must not be involved, but then he immediately goes to his religion for answers. Religion is no different than superstition: ‘If you do bad things, you will be eternally banished to a fiery hell in which you will be tortured endlessly with no escape.’ Neither of them have factual basis and they probably do not happen.
Hysteria hits the town; they blame each other to protect themselves. Tituba is whipped ; lies a “confession” to save herself.
Turning point where the accused Tituba is now a divine help and innocent. This shows the court’s intention: everyone must confess to witchcraft or be hung.
Accusations & Lies: Tituba turns the blame Abigail placed on her to Sarah Good (Goody Osborn).
Winter could be a metaphor for Elizabeth’s coldness, hinting Proctor’s previous relationship with Abigail. Proctor is trying to prove his faithfulness and goodness.
Lack of trust; compassion and forgiveness: Proctor desperately desires forgiveness from his wife, but whether he’s earned it or not, she struggles to let go of her hurt.
Proctor fears he is being judged by Elizabeth, who is struggling with the demons of doubt in the midst of seeking to forgive. The emotional dynamic between them is taut and raw.
Proctor has not found redemption yet, and Elizabeth still holds suspicion. The events have not yet passed out of mind. She cannot be honest about her lingering feelings of betrayal, and her husband is callous to think that she should just “get over it.”
Elizabeth is suspicious of all of Proctor’s relationship. She wants Mary Warren out of the house, who said Elizabeth’s name was somewhat mentioned in court. Elizabeth is insecure.
Also, neither has completely come to grips with is that the woman Proctor slept with now has the power to cause either or both of them to die. They both stay together, but there is heavy damage caused.
Mary is naive and easily influenced by society/others. She defends her position in the court, justifying the executions.
Elizabeth believes that her death is inevitable. She knows Abigail is out to get her. Figurative and literal metaphor to getting hanged; ball’s rolling, accusations will lead to death.
She asks him to talk to Abigail again and tell her nothing is going to happen, especially when Elizabeth dies. There is nothing, there was NO promise in the bed. Nothing will ever exist between Proctor and Abigail.
Idiom: Proctor’s affair was out of lust, not real feelings for Abigail. In this exchange, John Proctor is begging his wife to forgive him – but though she wants to forgive him, she is right about Abigail’s interpretation of their affair, which has bound Abigail and Proctor together in ways Proctor fails to understand.
Elizabeth has been arrested for “her” poppet. Hale is a coward and cannot stand up to justice out of fear.
Pontius Pilate was a Roman official who reluctantly condemned Jesus to death. Pilate is said to have declared “I am innocent of the blood of this just man.” Pontius questions Christ and finds nothing wrong; he feels that Christ is innocent, and has no reason to be arrested.
All the wives are taken away by Cheever (clerk of the court), charged by Abigail with murder. Dramatic Irony: We know the great cause he is looking for is the affair, but John is not saying it.
He wants Mary Warren to confess the truth. Biblical allusion to Adam and Eve. Eve, then Adam, bit the apple of knowledge. Their eyes are open, and can see the truth. God’s icy wind is the wrath of God, judgement and damnation will come.
They are all in the meeting room at court. Giles Corey provided evidence against his wife, Martha (reading book), on accident; but he got kicked out. Mr. Nurse is now trying to prove the girls as frauds. Danforth takes offence to Mr. Nurse’s claims. He uses his reputation to assert his authority; he will not be told what to do.
Proctor and Mary Warren enter the scene, intent on telling the truth. Mary tells Danforth that it was all a pretense, the girls faked it. Danforth wants to make sure no one knows yet; he is fearful of plots against the court.
Proctor is questioned about his motivations for giving such evidence. HE says it is purely to save his wife and friends. Danforth is suspicious of motives to undermine the court. Through court and investigation evidence, the truth always comes out. In a way, it is a threat. Also ironic that the court has been using lies and faulty evidence to pass judgement.
Cheever gives evidence of Proctor not being a good Christian: plowing on Sunday. Giles defends him and says other Christians also plow on Sundays.
Character revelation: Cheever, who is a deputy of the court, feels obligated to act with righteousness in all cases without thinking of the outcomes. HE does what he is told ; displays any information he knows. Sublime official; dutiful.
Reputation: Francis and Proctor give Dansforth a list of 91 people signing they vouch for Rebecca and Martha’s goodness. Parris and Danforth, however, take this act as undermining the court. He tells Cheever to draw up warrants for every one of the names.
Hale tells Danforth not to be hasty, let Proctor come back with a lawyer later. Death sentences are not to be taken lightly, they must be careful. AGAIN, Danforth takes this as an act against his authority. He counters, the only evidence is the witch and victim’s words. It is an invisible craft, evidence is hard to considet.
Legal proceedings/trials: Displays his open-mind to options, but doesn’t really. His tone and attitude towards Mary is very harsh and mean. But to the girls, he doesn’t really give them room or the comfort to tell the truth, but to keep to the pretense.
Mary is trumped when Parris, Dansforth, and Hathorne asked her to fake a cold faint at will. However, she cannot and struggles to find reason.
He reveals his lechery. He says Abigail is after his wife. Proctor sets aside his reputation & giid bane; sacrifice for the greater good. He admits his sins by calling Abigail a *****.
Accusations and quarreling: Mary is a very weak character. She breaks and goes back to her pretense. She fears Abigail and knows she cannot fight against her. The children all unite against Proctor. Danforth believes the girls, but Hale still defends Proctor.
Proctor is crazed. He sees the truth of this audacity, despite appearances and confessions. He says everyone is at fault and wrong, so they will all burn in Hell together. All have failed to tell the truth and see righteousness out of ignorance. All men sin.
He is concerned about his well-being, not necessarily anyone else’s or the town’s welfare and justice.. If Rebecca is a witch, they are all out to get Parris.
Rebecca is a very outstanding, righteous woman. If they hang a good person, rebellion will give way, like Andover. Foreshadow rebellion, town will begin to see the court’s faults.
Flawed theocracy: He hopes Hale will get everyone to confess; asking for postponement. If they execute innocent, then rebellion. If they execute confessed, then it seems like a good act of justice (credibility compromised).
Reputation: Parris will seem like a good Reverend if people confess sins and looks like the work of God. The town would believe Parris is right and his reputation would be solid.
He doesn’t want postponement because he will be seen as a failed judge. He doesn’t have good intentions of “ridding towns of witchcraft.” Reputation: he is stubborn, hungry for power, and lost his good will.
Hale believes he has done a grave injustic in executing 12 previous people and will not condemn the next 7. He wants it to stop. There are orphans, rotting crops, and rebelling; like Andover.
Metaphor: guilt, responsible for deaths.
Life is gift, in which every must be done to prevent it from being taken away; confess and lie if that be the case. Theocracy is flawed. One can never interpret the will of God. Right by the court doesn’t mean it is right by God.
Ironic: He says to Elizabeth: don’t let pride shade your eyes.
They wanted names of people against Putnam. However, Giles didn’t say anything. He died by being pressed by great stones on his chest. He died a good Christian for good and justice; therefore, the land will go to his kids.
Proctor wallows in his sins, accepting personal responsibility.
Elizabeth says the sin is on her soul, not John’s. She finds consultation within herself. She finally forgives John and asks for his forgiveness.
He is debating whether or not to confess. Identity crisis: fraud and life, or honest and saint? Pride and reputation: does his name represent good or evil?
Proctor is going to turn evil and confess/lie. Some people believe evil can be good. It is all in the eye of the beholder. Like Hale said, for life, a lie is worth it. But for Proctor, is a life or a single shred of goodness more valuable?
Proctor confesses, Danforth hopes Rebecca would do the same, caving in to the pressure. She doesn’t want to lie and damn herself however. Proctor says he never saw Rebecca with the devil, defending her; he is there only to sell himself, not others. Friendship: Proctor is good and loyal.
He is protecting his name/reputation. If the signed confession is made public, he won’t be worth his children. Danforth wants the one confession to make everyone look bad and condemn all of Proctor’s friends (AKA justify the hangings/deaths. How can Proctor live with lies? He sold his soul, all he has left is his name.
He takes back his confession, refusing to succumb to evil. He doesn’t have a lot of goodness, but enough to keep from the corrupted government and court. The “magic” is the miracle. Proctor FINALLY forgives himself and sees himself as a good person.
Hale wants Proctor to confess, not be in pride and vanity, to live. But reality, Proctor is a good person, pride is not always bad. He deserves to die pure of heart, rather than living in a lie. Redemption is possible when one is honest, forgiving, and moves to be a better person.